The weirdness begins

When Yukon travellers head Outside for their winter vacations there’s a better than even chance they will be transiting through Vancouver.

When Yukon travellers head Outside for their winter vacations there’s a better than even chance they will be transiting through Vancouver.

It is what we do to move from “A” to “B.”

We are used to Vancouver.

We know Vancouver.

We have family and friends there — or at least a favourite hotel.

But what happens after Vancouver, when we leave its familiar surroundings and continue into less familiar territory?

This is where the adventure begins, where things become a little bit more “weird, but wonderful.”

What is it about flying?

Almost everyone complains about it, but they keep flying anyway.

No matter what the regulations and the rules, no matter how long the lineups, we just take a deep sigh, roll our eyes, repack our luggage and head to the airport.

Absolutely no way are we staying home!

You haul a good part of everything you own into this cavernous metal bird and buckle in.

After some noise and motion the doors open and you are somewhere totally different.

It’s a bit like space and time travel for beginners.

Take, for example, Los Angeles, California’s, LAX.

Not much further from Vancouver than the Yukon, just in the opposite direction.

There’s the added …. oh, what’s the word … yes, intrigue of US Customs and Immigration.

There is paperwork requiring mental inventories of every single item stashed in your checked and carry-on bags — and which is packed where.

Is your shampoo bottle larger than 100 millilitres?

What is the equivalent in ounces — or grams? My belt buckle set off the metal detector — but they want me to take off my shoes?

Is customs before or after security?

Where is my photo I.D. — I just had it in my hand!

Sure, there are 100 confusing details.

But there’s something else.

There’s looking out the plane window as you begin the descent for landing and seeing mountains you have never seen before.

There are lakes you have never fished in which you don’t know the names of.

There’s a wrinkle in time and you can hear The Mamas and the Papas singing California Dreaming.

California — beaches, waves.

Yes, there are the waves lapping the beach as the plane approaches the runway.

There could well be people surfing there right this minute if you look closely enough.

The radio station in your mind changes to the Beach Boys, Surfing USA.

Looking across the houses and houses and houses there are little turquoise gems all over the ground – hang on, those are swimming pools in back yards and lane pools on rooftops A bit of static and now what? Sheryl Crow telling us … “This is L.A.” — and yes — it is L.A.

It’s time to leave the metal bird … let the wonderful weirdness begin.

Catherine Miller is a Whitehorse-based writer on a months-long tour of far-flung places. Her chronicle appears here every Monday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read